Extremely Rare Early Production U.S. Colt Model 1911 1st Week Production Large "UNITED STATES PROPERTY" Variation Semi-Automatic Pistol Serial Number "31" Rig with Factory Letter This is a super rare example of an extremely early Colt Model 1911 semi-automatic pistol serial number "31" was assembled by Colt in December 1911 during the first week of production of the U.S. Government contract Model 1911 pistols. This is one of the first 50 New Model 1911 Pistols completed by Colt in 1911. This wonderful early Colt is accompanied by a factory letter verifying this as one of the first "50" pistols shipped to Springfield Armory on January 4, 1912. The pistol has the Colt high polish commercial blue finish and niter blue hammer, safety lock, slide stop, trigger, magazine catch, and rear sight. This high polish blue finish was changed to a dull finish by order of the Chief of Ordnance in April 1912 and was not applied to Model 1911 pistols after serial number 2400. The pistol has checkered oil finished walnut stocks with the early style thin stock screws. In addition to the high polish blue finish, this pistol has the distinctive features and markings found only on very early production Model 1911 pistols. The left side of the slide has the distinctive early two-line, two-block Colt patent markings and logo. The first block patent markings are: "PATENTED APR.20.1897/SEPT.9.1902. DEC.19.1905. FEB.14.1911" in unequal lines with 1/16 inch high letters. The factory address block: "COLT'S PT. F.A. MFG. CO./ HARTFORD.CT. U.S.A." uses larger, 5/64" letters. The Colt logo was reduced to 1/16" letters at serial number 84. The circled Rampant Colt trademark is stamped on the left side of the slide behind the grip serrations. It still retains its later production replacement rough brush blued barrel that has only a single small horizontally stamped "P" proof on the left side of the barrel lug. The left side of the receiver has the very desirable large (3/32") flat-stamped "UNITED STATES PROPERTY" mark. This marking was replaced with the smaller (1/16") roll-stamped marking at serial number 104. The circular "WPG" final inspection mark of Ordnance Inspector Walter G. Penfield is stamped above the magazine release. The right side of the receiver is stamped with the serial number "No.31" in small letters in front of the slide stop hole. "MODEL OF 1911. U.S. ARMY" is stamped on the right side of the slide ahead of the ejection port. The barrel, slide and receiver are not stamped with the "H" provisional inspection mark, which was added at about serial number 400, sometime in February 1912. In addition to those early features, this beautiful pistol also has all the original early parts and components. It has the early larger sized hand-checkering on the slide stop and safety lock which was only used on the first 150 pistols. After approximately serial number 150, Colt introduced the "machine checkered" pattern, which became standard on all M1911 pistols. The magazine catch has the first style (Type I) "dimpled" lock that was installed on pistols through serial number 3189. Most of the Type I locks were subsequently modified or later replaced with the standard type three lock, making un-modified locks extremely rare. The recoil spring plug is the early style that lacks the punched lip added around serial number 6500 and it still retains the first pattern recoil spring guide. The rear sight is the early round-top. The hammer is the early short pattern with borderless checkering used until 1913. This wonderful early Colt 1911 pistol is complete with a M1911 pattern leather swivel pistol holster with the second pattern leather slide for use on the garrison belt. The holster is marked on the back sides "ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL/1913/H.E.K.," and the leather slide is stamped on the back: "Q.M.C./JEFF 1923/H.E.K." Additionally, this rig includes an early double magazine pouch manufactured by the Mills company with the ribbed reinforced pucker bottom with the later reinforced flap with rimmed eagle snaps. The pouch is marked "MILLS" inside with a partial 1916 date and the garrison belt is unmarked. Manufacturer: Colt Model: 1911 BBL: 5 inch round Stock: Gauge: 45 ACP Finish: blue Grips: walnut checkered Serial Number: 31 Class: Curio & Relic Handgun Condition: Very fine with 80% of the bright, original, high polish blue finish overall with high spot wear overall and the majority of the blue loss on the front grip strap, the main spring housing, and grip safety. The various smaller parts noted above retain 80% of their Colt high polish nitre blue finish with slightly less finish on the slide release lever. The grips are in very good condition with nice distinct checkering overall showing wear across the tops of the checkering mixed with some light pressure dents and a few heavier handling marks. The magazine is a refinished later replacement. The front sight has been filed down with half remaining. The early holster, pouch and belt rig that accompanies this wonderful pistol are in very good condition overall with visible markings on the holster and pouch with good distinct markings on the leather slide. This is an exceptional early production U.S. Colt Model 1911 semi-automatic pistol rig.